Our planet is spanned with incredible mountain ranges on all continents. Looking at the world spot map out of skiers and snowboarders eyes, you will find a lot of promising places to ride and explore. You will find great terrain and epic snow parks all over the world: The Alps, the Rocky Mountains, the Coast Mountains, the Caucasus, the Himalayas and the Andes are only a few big mountain chains with endless ski and snowboarding playground. Both Northern and Southern Hemisphere offer great potential for riding all year long - the endless winter!
The Alps – situated in the Western Europe are the cradle of alpinism, steeped in mountaineering tradition. These young and wild shaped mountains are extremely beautiful with over 4000 meters high peaks like Mont Blanc and Matterhorn as their symbols. Alpine ski resorts have a very well developed infrastructure for all aspects of skiing and snowboarding, what makes them the biggest and best ski resorts in the world!
Some of the world class ski resorts for freeriding are located in Switzerland. Because of extreme terrain and massive snowfalls, Verbier is one of the top stops on the Freeride World Tour Map. Davos is considered to be one of the best resorts in Swiss Alps. Freeriding opportunities here are significant, as ski lifts cover a snow-rich area of 5 mountains.
Austria and France also deliver amazing freeriding opportunities. With generous snow falls, Chamonix is known among advanced and pros for deep powder skiing and fantastic backcountry freestyle. St. Anton offers many lift-accessible freeride routes and high standard hotels in a traditional and lively Austrian mountain village, gaining more and more enthusiasts, especially from Great Britain these days.
If you are more into freestyle skiing or snowboarding, the Alps offer plenty of fully equipped snow parks. Mayrhofen, with not only hundreds of kilometers of runs, but also the best snow park in Austria, receives a lot of attention from British riders. Schladming and Obertauern do not fall far behind with an almost all year park. Another place that has a park open in the summertime is Les Deux Alpes in France. Best snow camps meet here for their freestyle sessions. Avoriaz is also a popular French freestyle destination, however, long waiting lines make it less attractive. You will probably not experience such massive crowds in Laax in Switzerland. This resort is well-known for its world-class snow park, hosting big events like Burton European Open as well as stylish bars, clubs, restaurants and modern hotels of a very high standard. Last, but not least of the highlights on the European freestyle scene is Livigno in Italy. This park has a wide selection of kicker lines and obstacles, great italian atmosphere and very low prices.
The best time to ski in Europe is Northern Hemisphere winter that lasts usually from December to April. December with a lot of snowfall and short days, offers often very good days in the trees. The atmosphere of cozy days and nights on the huts is perfect for romantic ski trips for couples. January and February are the most popular months. The weather is at its best for freeride fanatics: Longer days, more snow base and a fair amount of blizzards followed by blue bird days with waist deep powder, if you are lucky. March and April deliver more sunshine days, corn and spring snow - up to knee deep powder.
North America offers two world class ski destinations: Canada and Alaska. Canada is still the dream country for every skier and snowboarder, providing perfect snow conditions with high reliability. Wild, endless & remote terrain is perfectly suited for freeriding. That is why heliskiing has become so popular and widely accepted in British Columbia. Coast Mountains and Skeena Mountains receive some of the most generous snowfalls on Earth due to proximity of Pacific Ocean. Average snowfalls of over 20 meters (65 feet) are normal, making them perfect heliskiing destinations. The further north you go, the more pow you ride! Rocky Mountains, Monashee Mountains, Selkirk Mountains or Purcell Mountains are rich in dry champagne powder due to continental location and cold temperatures. You will be able to experience some of the best tree skiing in the world!
Freeriding in Canada
When it comes to resorts made for freeriding, Canada has plenty to offer with stunning conditions particularly in December. Whistler/Blackcomb is amazing for backcountry and freestyle skiing with year round snow park, however be prepared for longer queues during Christmas and Easter. Big White has various terrain for riders on every level. Lifts are usually uncrowded and local facilities are decent. Lake Louise is another resort with extraordinary freeriding possibilities on four mountain faces. The village gives an impression of a remote location, yet it is situated less than 2 h drive from Calgary. Further south is Fernie and in the west – Kicking Horse. Both are perfect, crowd-free spots, which draw attention of freeride and freestyle backcountry enthusiasts.
Alaska - Immense ski and snowboarding spots
Alaska offers immense potential for ambitious skiers and riders: steep terrain, plenty of chutes and spines. Snow, which "sticks" to the steeps, generates a snow cover with a lot of stability and favorable avalanche conditions. Massive snowfalls in Alaska are both, blessing and inconvenience at the same time, incredible fun but also causing many down days. During the short, but exceptional 3 months season, the best regions for heliskiing are Valdez, Haines and Chugach Mountains. While in February you will experience waist deep powder and some down days, in April you will get up to 15 hours daylight with boot top to shin deep powder as well as less down days.
Our Head of Sales travel is a true board rider. From starting out skating as a kid back home in the UK, to snowboarding in the European Alps and Canada, to chasing waves all across the globe, Mister Jenner has done it all. Now spending his time flipping between the mountains and the ocean, Martin is your go-to guy for Snow Travel and Maldives Surf Trips.